Firing/Discipline Interview

Firing/ Discipline Interview

Mark Bowler


Yield Engineering Manager


  1. How do you first approach disciplining employees?

I went into the FAB and asked the employee if he could come talk with me. I started out the conversation with “I understand you took the day off yesterday to visit your sick child in the hospital yesterday”. He confirmed this and then I confirmed that I knew this wasn’t true.

  1. What is your greatest concern when disciplining employees?

That I will hurt how hard they will work in the future. You don’t’ want to discourage them. You want to motivate them to do better.

  1. How do you decide what to focus on with disobedient or non-compliant employees?

You try to focus on what they need to do to be compliant. Tell them what they need to do to do it right. Instead of telling them all they are doing wrong.

  1. At what point do you decide to fire someone?

After multiple events of not being at work and lying about the reasons for doing so.

  1. Have you ever had to fire/discipline an employee who was a good friend to you?

Yes. It is a lot harder. I had to discipline a guy that I had worked with for many years. I had to correct his behavior. He was making comments to individuals saying that they were facts when they were only educated guesses.

  1. Do you have another supervisor present for a firing/disciplinary process?

Yes, human resources.

  1. When disciplining or firing an employee, are they able to bring a support person or representative with them to that meeting?


  1. Do you feel remorse when you have to fire someone?

In the case where the employee was disobeying I did not. When I had to lay people off I did feel remorse.

  1. In your opinion, what is the right way to fire/discipline someone?

In my opinion, you want to lay out what the concerns are and what they need to improve upon. You certainly don’t want to discourage someone who could perform more. You want to offer help to them, such as, “Perhaps we should meet more often to see your progress”.

  1. Do you conduct exit interviews when someone is fired?

The exit interview is part of the firing. The human resource team might meet with them afterwards though.  We do exit interviews only for people who are quitting the company.

  1.  What are some behaviors that lead to someone getting fired?  

Continuously being late. Not coming to work. Exceedingly poor performance- though typically we take them off with a layoff. Any physical violence can lead to a termination.

  1.   How often do you have to fire someone? Discipline someone?

Fire: I was a manager for 28 years and I only fired one person.

Discipline: This one is a harder area. It is a gray area because you have a meeting with someone once a week and you might ‘redirect’ them, so I’m not sure if that is discipline. For a formal disciple (such as writing it in their history), about every three or four years.

  1.  What is the procedure for firing someone?  Is paperwork involved?  Is upper management involved?

My manager would certainly be involved in the firing. Getting together with my boss and the human resources department is the first step and then documenting what has been done wrong. Those are the only two steps prior to the firing. Still, documentation is key when firing someone. You have to have all the issues laid out and understood.

This information was very insightful because I was actually surprised as how much they DON’T want to fire someone. 28 years is a long time to go with only firing one individual. Also, I was impressed that most of the time they will try to keep their motivation up. I think this individual that I interviewed is a pretty genuine guy. It may not be the same case with all managers. Still, I think he is a good example of a great manager. He strove to help before he laid off.

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